ORIGINS OF THE INSTITUTE
The Institute for Armenian Studies was founded in 1977 by a group of Armenians concerned about the problems facing the Armenian nation. The Institute was legally registered in Munich, Germany, where it is still headquartered The Institute's purpose is to study Armenia's problems and future through publications and through the fostering of understanding between peoples.
THE PURPOSE OF THE INSTITUTE
The Armenian people was long deprived of sovereignty and of an independent state's ability to solve its own problems. This also affected various fields of study such as history, politics, art, and literature. The Academy of Sciences of Soviet Armenia did much to develop the scholarly study of Armenian subjects, but for understandable reasons was long compelled to show partisanship in several areas; the Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia was a striking example of that, as a number of historical personages and events were either presented in a partisan fashion or were excluded altogether. Furthermore, Soviet Armenian scholars completely avoided some subjects, such as theology, and many political problems were left as the concern of the Diaspora only.
The Institute tried to remedy these shortcomings both by producing studies of areas insufficiently studied in Soviet Armenia and by attempting to increase the international understanding of Armenian problems by highlighting the continued relevance of those problems.
The disintegration of the Soviet Union and Armenia's independence opened a new era in the life of the Armenian people. The new situation created a host of problems in many fields, such the Artzakh conflict; the establishment of democracy; relations with neighboring countries; the rivalry of the great powers in the region ; the enfeebled economy and the effects of economic globalization ; the poverty of the mass of the people; deeply-rooted bribery and corruption; and the spread of foreign influences endangering a number of Armenian cultural values. These and further problems have raised new challenges for Armenia's political leadership and for organizations concerned with the nation's problems and future, such as the Institute.
In order to increase its effectiveness the Institute in 1998 also established a branch office in Yeravan, Armenia while keeping its headquarters in Munich.
THE PRINCIPAL OBJECTIVES OF THE INSTITUTE
Given the limited resources available to the Institute and the priorities of the problems faced by Armenia, the first meeting of the Institute's membership decided to make the following three areas the Institute's main fields of study:
In the first field, the Institute's efforts regarding "Hay Dat" have included publicizing the Armenian Question , as by preparing and publishing studies in several languages about the Genocide In the field of art, we chose to concentrate on studying a single problem, the identification of the original values of various Armenian art forms to help the survival of those values. Armenian music, especially, is considered to losing its original national essence.
In religion, the third area of study concentration, the focus was to be on the role of the Armenian church in the nation's life.
ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION
According to the bylaws of the Institute,.besides the collaborating membership, the Institute also has honorary members. The honorary members do not vote for the Institute 's Directing Council, which is elected every four years.
The Council consists of a Director and two Assistant Directors, and it is elected every four years. The membership meeting of January 2005 decided to add two general advisors and one scholarly advisor to the list of officers.
The Directorate consists of: